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Ethan's Secret (James Madison Series Book 2) Kindle Edition
|Length: 397 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Age Level: 10 - 18||Grade Level: 5 - 12|
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Within the first few chapters, I really enjoyed the way Kelsey and Ethan's stories began to unfold, but my initial thoughts were, I liked Joshua's Island better. As the story progressed, and I realized just how different this book was shaping up to be, I changed my mind. I loved it just as much as Joshua's Island but for very different reasons.
The author could have easily gone the same route to tell the same story with new characters, tacking an equally difficult issue. And to be honest, that's kinda what I was expecting and anticipating. Boy was I wrong! The plot twists kept me guessing and the last third of the book kept me up late because I just had to finish.
Once again, Patrick Hodges tackles some tough issues that all teens face during those awful middle school years and he shows us, through his remarkable (and remarkably adorable) cast of characters, how to overcome those issues. I absolutely love the way this author brings closure to his character's lives and their stories. Not many books culminate with such a satisfying ending. Hodges' books can stand alone, but they also cross over as a successful series, and that takes an incredible amount of talent to accomplish.
In the end, Ethan's secret felt much more like fiction than Joshua's Island, which you can tell was deeply inspired by the author's own experiences. That did not take away from my enjoyment of the book, but the emotional level was not the same. Still, a very enjoyable, entertaining read that will keep you guessing. I'm looking forward to the next one, hoping we'll get to see more familiar faces.
I know that because my dad was an engineer and we moved around a lot when I was in school.
It's even tougher, though, when you're not only the new kid but you also have a secret; one you can never tell anyone, not even a girl that you're pretty sure you've fallen in love with.
"Ethan's Secret" by Patrick Hodges is a wonderful book about what it means to be young and in love; about what it means to stand up for what you believe to be right even when that's difficult. In straightforward prose that mixes humor with serious subjects such as bullying, peer pressure, emerging sexuality issues and the general anguish of growing up, Hodges has created a novel that both young adults - and those of us who are a long way past being young - can not only relate to but enjoy.
The story revolves around Kelsey Callahan, a bright young woman with a reputation: As a fifth grader she stood up to three bullies who were picking on two young girls. When one of the bullies decided to fight, Kelsey decked her. Now, at 13, she and her three best friends - including the two girls she rescued - are all but inseparable. They share classes, lunch, recess and secrets.
Ethan Zimmer is the new kid: He dresses in black and talks to almost no one. He eats alone and seems unwilling to make friends at his new school. That should turn people away from him and it does generally, but not Kelsey. She is determined to get to know him.
I'm not going to reveal any more of the storyline because that could spoil your enjoyment of this excellent novel. I will say that the characters Hodges has created in "Ethan's Secret" are "real" in the sense that we've all known kids just like them at some point in our lives. Some are flighty, some are broody, some are insufferable and a few are almost too good to be true; wise beyond their years, compassionate and kind - even to the new kids in school.
The narrative flows along smoothly and Hodges takes great pains to introduce a variety of important subjects into the story without drifting off the point. His ability to deal with those subordinate issues while keeping the narrative focused is, in my opinion, a pretty remarkable achievement. The characters are fully realized as are the dynamics of their relationships to one another.
In short: This is an excellent novel for readers of all ages and one that I highly recommend.
Most recent customer reviews
I come to love Patrick Hodges writing style. Its easy to read and he knows how to keep you hooked.Read more